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The Hackman family has recently had some sad news; J. Walter Hackman has passed away to be with our Lord and Savior.  We ask you to please pray for the family at this time while we all remember the great man J. Walter Hackman and the spiritual legacy he left behind.

In the beginning….

“We moved up to Allentown to take over a small mission,” says J. Walter Hackman, who co-founded Hackman’s Bible Book Store with his wife, Ruth.  That was in 1947 when Hackman was a meat cutter in Philadelphia.  “A friend say, ‘why don’t you sell something for the soul instead of the stomach?,’ and that’s how we started selling books and Bibles,” he remembers fondly.

Within his Mennonite denomination, Hackman felt the call to service and moved, with Ruth, to Allentown.  While living in a third floor apartment on Sixth Street, Walter carried a basket door-to-door selling books and Bibles.  He eventually had a bread truck outfitted as a mobile bookstore.  With that truck, he covered a 70-mile radius from home, and that’s when Hackman’s Bible Book Store was born.

“I’d approach a home carrying a basket that had three tiers to it,” Walter says.  “On the top tier, I had non-religious items; in the middle, I had books, and on the bottom, I had Bibles.  As I approached, I knew what would be in the customer’s mind: ‘We don’t want any books today.’ But in my mind was, ‘What do you need today?’

This is actually a key insight into what has built Hackman’s to its present stature.  Walter’s focus, from the very beginning, was on the customers and on providing the customers with what they needed at that particular time in their lives.  Most often, that involved inspirational books and Bibles that had the ability to change people’s lives.

“‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he'” Walter quotes. “We tried to provide that right thinking through the books we sold and the Bibles we sold and the products we sold.”

The first bricks-and-mortar Hackman’s Bible Book Store was on Sixth Street in Allentown, right next to the mission they had come to foster.

“It started very slowly,” says Ruth.  “The bill for rent was $35, and a big day was $16.50 at the time.  And we were also paying someone to be in the store!”

All five of the Hackman’s children worked in the store as they grew up.  The store grew too.  “The Lord blesses with sweat,” says Walter.

With a full family effort, Hackman’s relocated to St. John Street, and then after 17 years in that location, moved to an even bigger store on MacArthur Road, where it stayed for another 17 years before the store moved to its current location at 1341 Mickley Rd. in Whitehall, now owned by Joe and Marcia Hackman.

We ask everyone to please share their stories about how J.Walter Hackman has touched their lives, and fond remembrances of him.  Please leave them in the comments section below.

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We hope everyone had a happy Easter and was able to stop in to see the chicks.  They were adorable, as always, and the kids loved them!  We were also able to get a picture of some of last year’s chicks- they grow up so fast!

 

We also had a lot of fun with the kid’s coloring contest, and with our online contests.  Congratulations to the winner’s of the gift cards and the Easter lamb.

We have some exciting events coming up at Hackman’s this month.  You can find all our events listed on our “events” tab on our Facebook page.

Give the store a call to register for “Courageous- Taking it Further” with Dick Parks and David Russiano on April 17 and April 24.

We also have Ian Holme’s CD release concert and birthday party on April 20; everyone is invited!  And for the Christian educators out there, we have a Christian Education workshop with Velvet Lozada on April 28.

We would love to know what kind of topics you would love to read about on our blog.  Leave us some suggestions as a comment, and if we choose yours, you will get an honorable mention and a small gift from us.

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We are excited to announce that our Easter chicks can be found in store again this year!  They will be spending the week with us, so you can stop by and see them anytime before April 7.  They’re adorable, and the kids love them!  We are running a live webcam feed this year of the playful little chicks that you can find on our Facebook page, here.

We are also running a coloring contest for children ages 1-10 this week.  You can pick up the coloring pages in store, or print them out at the links below:

http://www.catholicmom.com/images/coloringpages/cross3.gif http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Kh0CZuWd0T8/TU0e7nAHNGI/AAAAAAAAJhU/014yL1x-xss/s1600/easter+chicks+colouring+page+in+a+basket.gif

There are prizes for all children who color a picture.  We look forward to seeing many wonderful and creative entries!

This past week was also the Immersion Day event with Dr. Stoll that we have been looking forward to, and we certainly didn’t dissapoint.  Thank you to Dr. Scott and Kristen Stoll for a wonderful afternoon, and for all the vendors and people who helped make it possible.  There was amazing food and great conversation, and everyone had a fantastic time.

Starting tomorrow, we will be starting another contest, so keep your eyes out!  Don’t forget, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Foursquare.

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Here at Hackman’s, we’ve been enjoying the beautiful weather and getting ready for the Easter chicks to join us at the store.  They should be joining us the week before Easter.  Here are some of the cuties we had last year:

We will be sharing updates on the chicks to let you know when they hatch and when you can come see them at the store.  If you have kids, or know someone who does, we recommend that you pick up the new Veggie Tales DVD while you’re at it!

Right now we’re getting ready for our Immersion Day tomorrow from 9 AM- 3:30 PM.  We’re so excited to have Dr. Stoll and his wife in here to talk about nutrition and loving your body the way God intended.  We will also be providing a catered lunch.  We encourage you to check out this great video by Dr. Stoll:

http://www.fullyalivetoday.com/preview/pages/video.html

If you can’t join us, you can purchase his Fully Alive! Book and Kristen Stoll’s cookbook here at the store.

Make sure to join us on Twitter!  A little birdie told me we might be holding a contest on there.  Tweet, Tweet!

www.twitter.com/hackmansbooks

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One of the many reasons that we decided to start this blog was due to inspiration from Ruth Hackman’s, “Reflections”, a column in the Morning Call that started on Nov. 2, 1974, and ran for 22 years.

Originally intended as a sales column for Hackman’s, “Reflections” quickly became a “personal chitchat” column, which readers were thrilled with.  The column read very much like blogs today do.  Ruth would offer personal reflections, talk about her family, and share household tips.

Not only did Ruth’s column make Hackman’s and their store widely known around the valley, but she offered a subtle spritual guide for those that had lost their way, and invited customers and readers into the Hackman’s lives.

Thank you, Ruth, for starting such a wonderful tradition and creating the community relationships that we value so dearly.

Our next bible study will be on Feb. 8 at 10 am, and led by Ron Ridenour.  The topic is “ROMANS 12: The Christian Life”.  Registration is requested; we hope to see you there!

 

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 Yesterday was Joe’s birthday and we wanted to take the time here to wish him a happy birthday, and to thank him for all the wonderful things he does, every day.

Our Facebook friends were also wonderful, as usual, and sent many well-wishes Joe’s way.

Our last men’s bible study on Courageous will be tonight at 7pm.  Some members have expressed interest in being able to continue to chat with other fathers about the issues they face every day.  We’ve set up a discussion board, and you can join by going to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hackmansbiblebookstore) and clicking on the “discussions” tab on the left of the page.

Our next upcoming event is “ROMANS 12: The Christian Life” Bible Study Fellowship led by Ron Ridenour.  We will be holding them Feb. 1,8,15, & 22 at 10am.  We would love to hear what you think about our new event center!

If you’re already thinking about Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to check out our engraveable gifts.  We have a great selection, and the items will be engraved while you wait.  Also, we are starting a really exciting giveaway on our Facebook page, so stay tuned!

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Dr. Stoll at Hackman's new event center

Thank you everyone for coming out on Tuesday!  The attendance was fantastic, and Dr. Stoll’s message was truly inspiring.  Eating the foods that God provided for us is a great way nourish both the body and soul, and a perfect way to start off the new year.  For those of you who were unable to join us, or if you would like to see Dr. Stoll again, we are hoping to have him back again in the future.  We’ll let you know as soon as we have more information.  We have copies of Dr. Stoll’s book here at the store, we recommend picking one up for yourself or a loved one.

This also marked the first event in our new event center!  We are all very excited about this addition to our store, and will be featuring meany more events in the months to come.  We’d love to hear what you think about the new store setup and the new eveent center.

Our next upcoming workshop is a series of men’s bible studies led by Mr. Richard Parks.  The 17th will be a preview of the movie “Courageous” and Opening Thoughts.  On January 24 and 31, Richard will focus on insights on the movie, and how to conduct a bible study for men in your home church.  We ask that you please register for this event.  You can view the movie trailer here:

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